Absence Is A Relief

The past 2 days I have struggled with a certain food sitting in our pantry. My first mistake was allowing an afternoon to hit when there was absolutely nothing in the house I could or would eat, having reached the tipping point with tuna. And then, for some reason not having the initiative to get out of the house to go buy groceries. The third mistake was allowing myself to eat a protein bar. I read the label 4 times, duly noting the high protein content and also that it contained cane sugar, beet sugar, oats – all of which drive up my sugar cravings. Three times I put the bar back into its box. The fourth time I savored every bite. Then counting up my calories, I ate another one. Yesterday I did the same thing – 2 bars, staying within my calories but now totally off my no sugar/grains and processed foods. My cravings were back. This morning I am disgusted by my behavior (not with me) and the physical sensation that I felt afterward, but those damn bars sit there. For months I had ignored them. The absence of sugar desire, lust, cravings had been such a relief for so long.

Last night I sat quietly in our living area after reading and abruptly noted a total absence of pain in my chest (post-mastectomy pain). I was afraid to move, to change my breathing, fearful the magic would be gone, or that I was dreaming. The relief was so enormous that I fell asleep for 3 hours in the early evening – sleeping without discomfort for the first time in over 2 months, sleep that I had never obtained with pain medications.

This morning as I try to sort through what caused my brief sugar attack and the wondrous bout of pain relief, I realize how the absence of symptoms or negative emotions (cravings, pain, grief, loneliness, fear) can be as uplifting as the feelings of self-control, joy, love, peace. Not that I want to establish a sense of nothingness – not at all! I am just reflecting on how the easing of any type of prolonged distress can be so soothing.

I will not let myself get into a situation where those protein bars call to me and am confident that I can regain my no added sugar diet immediately. Getting that no-pain thingy though – quite the mystery.

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4 thoughts on “Absence Is A Relief

  1. I can’t decide if this post makes me happy that you had moments of no pain or sad that you had only moments of no pain! I hope you have many, many more!!

    Protein bars are hard for me too. I think we eat similarly. I don’t keep them in the house anymore. I used to have them around to grab when I headed out and needed an emergency stash in my purse. Now I only get them for travel. So… I have two kinds here right now. But when I get home from CA, any leftovers will be tossed so that I don’t do what I did after my last trip when I had them leftover and binged on them at home!

    For me, it is not only sugars or refined carbs that can set me off. Any food that has a certain similarity to others will set me off even if there is no sugar or carbs in there. For example, on my “diet forum,” many on my plan make things like muffins with beans and sugar substitute. But for me, it is all too reminiscent of a real baked good so I avoid it.

    Sometimes it makes me a bit sad to think about all the foods I’ve deemed off limits. I’m not sure if I’ll eat them again or not. But, honestly, I am happier when I don’t eat them. The satisfaction is so fleeing when I indulge. Why then can’t I remember that when I give in to a craving!!

    Sorry I rambled:)

  2. I feel the same as Karen I’m not sure who this post makes me feel 🙂 But we are going camping this weekend. So all off food limits come to life to be indulged! If I’m stuck sleeping in a tent there better be incentive…However, I know I will regret this next week when my pants don’t fit 🙂

  3. I can certainly relate to giving in under stress – my weight has gone up this year because iof my stress response. I hope that your pain and my stress will soon be gone and we both have those uplifting feelings you so aptly describe.

  4. I’m glad you had a few moments of peace. I’m sure there will be more to come, hopefully soon. I’m loving hearing from you more lately. Take care!

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